Essay about Greek Theater: Tragedy

Essay about Greek Theater: Tragedy

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Greek theatre is based on religious and political performance with prestige playwrights. The roles are always played by men who wear masks and costumes and the performance were always outdoors. Greek theatre has had comedy and tragedy where comedies the heroes are ironic and disengaged to the situations. With the tragedy, heroes often respond with emotions such as pride, rage, lust, envy or grief. This essay will focus on the tragedy side of Greek theatre. Aristotle says that tragedy “is not the imitations of persons but of actions and of life.” (Butcher 1961). Here “imitation” meaning ‘mimesis’-poet creating a image out of nothing, representing reality itself giving it form and meaning. Furthermore the actions are the mimesis of the poet that is serious in context to pity, fear, moral, social and physiological senses directing to pathases. Aristotle is looking at the art of tragedy which is the making of the play that symbolizes an action. He states that tragedy is a form of action that displays visions and inspirations that leads the character into action such as singing.
Moreover he talks about action that is from two natural causes – character and thought (Butcher 1961). It is the changing circumstances of life that the character response in such a way to use his thoughts to seek or avoid situations. Aristotle emphasis action (praxis) is not a deed, event or physical activity rather the motivation that arouse from the deed - the thought and character that makes the action.
Tragedy depends on the dramatic performance (enactment) and not on the author telling the story (narrative). According to Aristotle tragedy stimulates the emotions and then purifies or purges it down, it is never created. On the other hand the tragic hero ...


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... pathos –the suffering is seen in both the plays where destruction is shown through the deaths, a painful act that grabs the audience attention and classifies the character as the tragic hero. As in Aristotle’s poetics it is deep nature and imitation is an instinct of nature. Poetry imitates life in a number of ways, through the character, emotions, actions and everyday objects (Butcher 1961).





Bibliography
Butcher, S.H. Aristotle 's Poetic. New York: Hill and Wang, 1961.
Bywater, Ingram. Aristotle on the art of Poetics. Great Britain: Oxford Clarendon Press, 1962.
Garrick, David. Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense. 6th ed. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College Publications, 1991.
Willams, Simon. "The Tragic actor and Shakespeare." In The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Stage, by Stanely Wells & Sarah Stanton, 118-136. Cambridge: University Press, 2002.


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